Local gov’t minister invites city officers to meeting

-Deputy Mayor slams move as disrespectful

Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green yesterday called the actions of Acting Minister of Local Govern-ment, Norman Whittaker “absurd” and “a total disrespect of the council” after he requested officers of the council to meet with him today to discuss the way forward given the recent events at City Hall.

“The Minister has oftentimes said that the court has given a ruling and we must respect the ruling of the court which we are doing, but most unfortunately the same ruling said that the Minister had no authority…Now to invite officers to a meeting tomorrow (today) saying to them that he wants to discuss the way forward…,” she said.

“Now this matter has nothing to do with officers of the council. As far as I am aware the officers for the past week were performing their duties as per normal. What is happening is that (government-appointed Town Clerk) Ms. Carol Sooba continues to disrespect a duly elected council as was evident at Tuesday’s meeting.”

Norman Whittaker
Norman Whittaker

She added that the Minister “seems to want to have a hold and grip over council. He disregarded the structure of the council by inviting officers. It is rude and we will not tolerate such behaviour by any Minister,” she added.

Patricia Chase-Green
Patricia Chase-Green

In a letter which was seen by this newspaper, Whittaker said that “the Honorable Minister of Local Government has determined that a decisive effort ought to be made to effect a return to normalcy at City Hall so that the statutory functions of the Council could resume with some fervency and some sense of urgency”.

Asked whether any officers would be attending the meeting, Chase-Green made it pellucid that permission was not granted for them to attend.

“Council has not granted permission for any em-ployee to attend any meeting called by the Minister tomorrow (today),” Chase-Green said.

On April 10, Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang in delivering a ruling had quashed the decision to appoint Sooba as Town Clerk saying that the Minister of Local Government does not have the power to appoint anyone in that position.

Justice Chang had said that this power was vested in the Local Government Commission but that since the law came into being the body had never been set up.

Further, Justice Chang had said that his decision did not prevent Sooba from continuing to perform the functions of Town Clerk as the “de facto” Town Clerk since a direct challenge was needed to bring her de facto tenure to an end.

Chase-Green also said that “the council is upset that the Minister of Local Government could have stooped so low as to bypass the formal structure of the city council to invite workers whose remunerations are paid by the council to a meeting to discuss the way forward”.

The Deputy Mayor argued that Whittaker should “have called the councillors to the meeting and not the officers. He doesn’t even know his au-thority,” Chase-Green said.

 

Comments  

Section of Kitty Public Rd to be closed from Wednesday

A section of the Kitty Public Road is to be closed from Wednesday as the Ministry of Public Infrastructure steps up road works in the area.

Nandlall rejects Harmon explanation on Police Service Commission

Anil Nandlall Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall today rejected an explanation by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon over the government’s directive to the Police Service Commission to halt promotions.

Prisoners in Lusignan holding area hand over 33 improvised weapons

The improvised weapons (Prisons photo) Prison Staff this morning with the support of the members of the other services, reported for duty at the new holding area lusignan Prison.

Regional nations plus U.S. condemn Venezuela’s new constituent assembly

Nicolas Maduro CARACAS/LIMA, (Reuters) – A group of 12 regional nations plus the United States rejected Venezuela’s new government-allied legislative superbody, saying they would continue to regard the opposition-controlled congress as the country’s only legitimate law maker.

18 Lusignan prisoners hurt after reported bid to kill ‘informant’

Eighteen prisoners at the Lusignan penitentiary were being treated for injuries last night following a reported attempt to kill a fellow inmate during which warders fired shots.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×